Fresh Kashmir border clashes leave several dead | News | DW | 21.08.2019

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Fresh Kashmir border clashes leave several dead

Both India and Pakistan offered conflicting reports of casualties. Pakistan on Tuesday announced plans to bring the Kashmir dispute before the UN's top court.

Fresh clashes in the disputed Kashmir between Indian and Pakistani border forces left several people dead on Tuesday.

There were conflicting reports from Pakistan and India regarding the number of casualties and the circumstances surrounding their deaths in the exchanges of fire.

Read more: India and Pakistan's troubled history

Skirmishes amid heightened tensions

Pakistan reported three civilians died in Indian gunfire and said its forces killed six Indian soldiers.

The Press Trust of India quoted officials as saying one Indian soldier died and four were wounded by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control separating the disputed territory. Separately, on Wednesday a suspected militant fighting against Indian rule over Kashmir was killed in a gunbattle that also killed one policeman and wounded another.  

The confrontations are  the latest in a series that have killed soldiers and civilians on both sides over the past week.

Read more: Kashmir: DW reporter's first-hand account of the 'siege'

Earlier this month, India unilaterally revoked the semi-autonomous status of the Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir and put it under a security lockdown, escalating long-simmering tensions over control of the disputed region.

 People carry signs as they chant slogans to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir, during a rally in Lahore, Pakistan.

People carry signs as they chant slogans to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir, during a rally in Lahore, Pakistan.

Kashmir police reported that thousands of people, mostly young male demonstrators, have been detained in Indian-controlled Kashmir during the ongoing lockdown and communications blackout, which began more than two weeks ago.

Pakistan turns to UN's top court

Also on Tuesday, Pakistan's foreign minister announced Pakistan would bring its Kashmir dispute with India to the UN's top judicial body, the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Read more: Kashmir: Is the UN Security Council reluctant to get involved?

"An in-principle decision has been taken to take the issue of disputed Kashmir to the International Court of Justice," Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told local media.

Qureshi said that every legal aspect of the matter was weighed before deciding to present it to the ICJ, and that the matter would be brought before the court as soon as possible, local media reported.

Firdous Ashiq Awan, special assistant to Imran Khan, said the case would center around the human rights violations and genocide in occupied Kashmir, reported local media.

Read more: Kashmir: The world's most dangerous conflict

Trump and Johnson urge restraint

In a phone call on Wednesday with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made clear that India and Pakistan must resolve the Kashmir dispute bilaterally. On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump urged both sides to reduce tensions over the disputed region.

India and Pakistan have had a fraught relationship ever since the British divided the subcontinent into a secular but predominantly Hindu India and a Muslim-majority state of Pakistan. The 1947 partition sparked riots and violence across the region and led to one of the largest migrations in history.

mc, cw/ng (AFP, AP, dpa)

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